Database Authentication

What Does Database Authentication Mean?

Database authentication is the process or act of confirming that a user who is attempting to log in to a database is authorized to do so, and is only accorded the rights to perform activities that he or she has been authorized to do.

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Techopedia Explains Database Authentication

The concept of authentication is familiar to almost everyone. For example, a mobile phone performs authentication by asking for a PIN. Similarly, a computer authenticates a username by asking for the corresponding password.

In the context of databases, however, authentication acquires one more dimension because it may happen at different levels. It may be performed by the database itself, or the setup may be changed to allow either the operating system, or some other external method, to authenticate users.

For example, while creating a database in Microsoft’s SQL Server, a user is required to define whether to to use database authentication, operating system authentication, or both (the so-called mixed-mode authentication). Other databases in which security is paramount employ near-foolproof authentication modes like fingerprint recognition and retinal scans.

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Margaret Rouse
Technology Expert

Margaret is an award-winning technical writer and teacher known for her ability to explain complex technical subjects to a non-technical business audience. Over the past twenty years, her IT definitions have been published by Que in an encyclopedia of technology terms and cited in articles by the New York Times, Time Magazine, USA Today, ZDNet, PC Magazine, and Discovery Magazine. She joined Techopedia in 2011. Margaret's idea of a fun day is helping IT and business professionals learn to speak each other’s highly specialized languages.